Here we go…
Our first stop!
The first port stop always brings the students close together. Everyone is trying to form friendships and connections since most students are solo travelers. I love watching who ends up linking together and who becomes great friends when the trip is over!
- Were you a first time cruiser? If so, what was your biggest concern?
Leeanne Grunow: “I was a first time cruiser! I was really scared of not having anyone with me as I explored each port city, but that was quickly fixed! Everyone was so friendly.”
Dyani Roberts: “This was my first cruise! I was terrified of getting sea sick. I brought so many different remedies, but I ended up not even using them. By focusing on my new friendships and keeping myself busy everyday on the ship, it helped balance my equilibrium!”
2) Were you a solo traveler?
Leeanne Grunow: “I went completely alone. I met Nick within the first 20 minutes of checking in, and I met Tia immediately after. It didn’t take long to meet a fellow classmate, but it was intimidating at first.”
Shadee Rios: “I was a solo traveler. Besides having Professor Thomas as an online professor, I did not know anyone else. Kennedy was actually the first person I met before we got onto the ship. We sat next to each other during the mandatory study abroad meeting at FIU a month ago. The meeting really helped me feel more comfortable before the trip.”
After two long sea days and long hours in the classroom, it’s finally time for some fun in Santa Marta, Colombia! When we arrived at the port my friends and I went straight on a local tour, which cost $20 a person. The tour allowed us to see three major sections of the city, go to the beach, have lunch, and shop.
Alfonso, our tour guide, was a local older man. He was extremely happy to have us and to tell us about Santa Marta. I was happy to find him because it was extremely overwhelming when we exited the port in the morning. Locals were very overbearing, trying to sell tours. I would recommend staying in a group and finding a tour guide who you can trust. Alfonso spoke English, spoke Spanish, and he grew up in Santa Marta. Also, look to see what car/van you are getting into. Make sure it looks clean/ safe and has the correct tour logo on the side of the vehicle.
We all celebrated and ate good in Colombia because we were so excited to be on land! Do not get me wrong, the cruise food was amazing, but once we got off the ship we had the exciting opportunity to try authentic and local foods/drinks! Alfonso brought us to one of his favorite restaurants, close to the beach…
The time is now 4:00pm and it is time to head back to the ship!!
Next stop: Cartagena, Colombia